The march from unofficial vacation to a proper day without work for many federal workers began in Texas, greater than a century after Union Gen. Gordon Granger issued an 1865 order releasing the remaining 250,000 or so Black individuals who have been nonetheless enslaved within the state, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
It took till 1979 for Texas to formally acknowledge the vacation, after legislators accepted a measure launched by state Rep. Al Edwards (D), a veteran civil rights activist who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Edwards launched the invoice within the first of his 13 phrases in workplace. …
Each president since former President Clinton’s administration has taken the chance to problem statements or remarks honoring the vacation. And for the final dozen years, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who represents the identical Houston space that Edwards represented within the Texas legislature, has launched a measure in Congress to make the day the nation’s [12th] official vacation.
Different states slowly adopted Texas’s lead: Florida adopted a Juneteenth vacation in 1991, Oklahoma in 1994 and Minnesota in 1996. Thirty-one states adopted the vacation between 2000 and 2009, and one other 13 did so within the decade that adopted.